Category Archives: Internet

Hippa Data Security: Doesn’t have to mean High Cost for Small Medical Practices

The American healthcare system is moving forward. Thanks to the HITECH Act of 2009, physicians and hospitals are encouraged with $19 billion dollars in spending to convert their old paper charts to new Electronic Health Records (EHR). Medical records and physician charts are essential for the smooth operation and delivery of optimal and continuous healthcare. These records must be available to the doctor or nurse at all times and should be easy to access when needed.

The thought of spending time and money to overhaul a fully-immersed and often entirely adequate paper system can be overwhelming to small medical practices. Smaller practices do not usually have the technological resources to keep up with new standards of protected health information (PHI) storage and delivery. However, it is possible for even small, rural community clinics to join the EHR system without needing to hire a full IT team.

Solo physician clinics and small medical practices may wonder why they need to change their system if they like it, it’s familiar, and – most importantly – it works. Paper charts with patient information offer little to no security or backup in case of physical damage. Insurance may cover the building and most of its’ contents in a fire or flood, but patient charts will be wiped clean and started anew. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of moving to an EHR system is the ability to save, maintain, update, and backup important patient personal health data.

Contrary to popular belief, HITECH compliance does not always require a large capital surplus to ensure your patient’s private data is backed-up and protected. Small medical practices can get away with spending a few thousand dollars to implement technology from a company that offers sizable, on-demand service.

Technological options for healthcare organizations have come a long way from the complex server or appliance based solutions. Several years ago, these were the only options and could cost upwards of $50,000. Even with that cost, these solutions were far from comprehensive and only provided part of the encryption protection required by HIPAA. “Cloud computing” has revolutionized the way we think about spending IT dollars and is quickly replacing former costly solutions.

“Cloud computing” is a term that refers to applications that can be leveraged over the internet. This type of solution eliminates the need for costly and confusing software packages or excessive servers requiring IT maintenance. Typically, the physician or practice will pay a per-user fee for access to a system that is maintained by a third party. This enables the application to be fully customized to fit a big metropolitan hospital or small rural community clinic.

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5 Critical Steps to Protecting Your Computer on the Internet

Spyware, viruses and worms… oh my!

If you are connected to the internet, you need to make sure you get your computer set up properly if you want to avoid problems down the road.

With all the viruses, spyware and other threats on the internet today, no computer should be set up without the proper protection.

And that protection needs to be in place as soon after you hook up your new machine as possible.

The following five steps will make your computer a much harder target for threats. You still won’t be completely immune to problems, but 99% of the time the threat will pass you by, looking for the easy mark.

1. Running a Personal Firewall

A personal firewall is software that basically makes your computer invisible to hackers, worms and other threats that can infect your computer over the internet.

Setting up a firewall is the absolute first thing you should do if you’re going to connect to the internet. Without a firewall, your computer could get infected in as little as one minute after connecting.

If you have a brand new computer running Windows XP Service Pack 2, there is a firewall built into Windows. It will already have been turned on when you first set up your computer.

If you’re running an older version of Windows, even an earlier version of Windows XP, there is no firewall automatically set up for you. In this case there are two possibilities:

– Your computer came pre-loaded with a firewall such as Norton Internet Security or McAfee Internet Security
– You have no firewall installed and should download one ASAP.

If you don’t have any personal firewall software installed, you should do so right away. Zone Alarm is a very good firewall program that has a version that you can download and install for free.

You can download the free version of Zone Alarm from www.lookcools.com

2. Turn on Windows Updates

Again, if you’re running Windows XP Service Pack 2 this is already set up, but otherwise you should turn on Windows Updates. Microsoft releases updates for security problems and other bugs in Windows on a regular basis.

These updates will keep your computer running better, and they often fix security issues that could compromise your information or privacy.

If you are running Windows XP Service Pack 2, you can double-check that automatic updates are turned on by clicking Start, then click Control Panel, then double-click Security Center. The window that opens will tell you if automatic updates are turned on, and lets you turn them on if they’re not.

To turn on automatic updates in earlier versions of Windows XP, click on the Start menu, click Control Panel and then double-click on System. On the “Automatic Updates” tab, click the option to “Automatically download the updates and install them on the schedule I specify.”

To turn them on in Windows 2000, click on Start, click Control Panel and then double-click on Automatic Updates. Again, click the option to “automatically download the updates and install them on the schedule I specify.”

Now when Microsoft releases updates, they will be downloaded for you automatically and Windows will tell you when they are ready to be installed.

3. Install & Update Antivirus Software

Most new computers come with antivirus software these days. You might have Norton, McAfee, PC-Cillin or another brand. No matter what program you have, you will need to update it when you get connected to the internet.

It doesn’t matter how new your computer is – there will be new viruses, and new updates for the antivirus software, since it was loaded.

The exact process is different for each brand of antivirus program, but most of them will have an icon in the bottom right corner of your desktop, beside the time. The icon might be a picture of a shield (McAfee), a stethoscope (Norton) or something else.

In most cases, if you point to the icon for your antivirus and click the right mouse button, a menu will pop up with an update option. It could be simply called update or could be something like Live Update or Download Latest Updates. If you click on the update option (with the left button this time) it will install the newest updates for you.

If you’re not sure which icon is for your antivirus software, just point to each one for a few seconds and a little title should pop up telling you what it is.

4. Install Anti-Spyware Software

Spyware – and other things known as adware and malware – is becoming as big a problem as viruses. Spyware programs can cause a lot of problems with your computer, not to mention they can track your personal information and you never know where it’s being sent.

Some new computers might includes antispyware software, but most of them don’t yet. There are quite a few anti-spyware programs available, some free and some not. The one I recommend is from Microsoft and is one of the free ones.

One of the reasons I like it is because it always runs in the background and will automatically catch a lot of spyware before it gets on your computer.

Many of the other programs don’t catch it until you run a scan. Not only does this allow things to get on your computer, it also means you have to actually remember to run a scan.

You can download the free Microsoft Antispyware from www.lookcools.com

5. Set up a Free Email Account

This last item is not as critical as the first four, but I would highly recommend you set up an email account with one of the free services like Hotmail or Gmail.

Once you’re on the internet, you’ll find a lot of useful information that you want that requires you to provide an email address. In some cases, these people will end up sending you a bunch of spam.

If you use a free email account to sign up for anything that you don’t know for sure you can trust, it’s not going to fill your main email with a bunch of junk.

This goes for anything really, not just online information. If you’re entering a contest or signing up for anything offline and you don’t know where your information could end up being used, I would suggest using your free email address.

If worse comes to worse, and your free email address gets inundated with spam, you can always just set up a new one and let the old one expire.

Some of the better free email services are www.hotmail.com, www.gmail.com and www.yahoomail.com.

If you’ve had your computer for a while and never done any of these things, you should still take these steps to get it set up properly. It will definitely save you a lot of time – and possibly money – as you use your system.
About the Author
John Lenaghan offers easy-to-understand advice at the Computer Help Squad website. Find out more about these 5 steps – sign up for our newsletter and receive your free 5-part guide at www.lookcools.com

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I am a person want to share knowledge that I have about almost every thing in this world and wants to have your knowlege.

 

The Problem Of Identity Theft

Identity theft is a problem in today’s society that needs more attention than it is getting. In 2006 alone 15.6 billion dollars were stolen or used in identity theft related cases. Of course monetary figures alone do not give the problem proper justice. The time and stress of the victims trying to recover from their identities being stolen must also be taken into account.

To begin to address the problem I think we must first fully understand what the problem is and how it is occurring. Identity theft is the act of using someone else’s personal information for personal gain of any sort. We can break it down further by classifying identity theft into 3 categories: financial identity theft, criminal identity theft, and identity cloning.


Financial identity theft is what most of us commonly associate as identity theft. It is the use of another person’s personal information to withdraw a loan, withdraw money from the victim’s bank account, or receive items of value. In this type of identity theft the victim is usually unaware of what has taken place until the damage has already been done, and they are left with a large sum of money that is either missing or owed.

In criminal identity theft, a fake ID using the victim’s information is used when the thief is being cited for a ticket. The victim is then left to pay for the ticket and any other repercussion that should never have been put onto him.
Lastly, identity cloning is the act of using a victim’s personal information to “become” the victim. The thief uses the information that he has obtained to assume the victim’s identity to hide his real identity. The thief may do this for a number of reasons such as hiding from the authorities for a crime, for illegal immigration, etc.

Now that we have identified what the problem is, we can try and understand how these thieves are getting their victim’s personal information. A very common and possibly the oldest way of doing so is stealing or dumpster diving for documents that have a person’s personal information written on it. Another common way is to either eavesdrop or look over the shoulder of someone that is punching in their personal information.

With the dawn of the electronic age, new ways of stealing people’s identity have come about. A very common way is through viruses that essentially steal your personal information and send it back to the hacker that sent it. Another is through “skimming” cards which read and memorize credit cards that are run through it so that they can be used later. A growing concern in identity theft is the obtaining of personal information through social networks like Facebook. This is definitely a problem as many people do not realize how dangerous it is to put their personal information on the internet. The majority of the populace does not realize that once something is on the internet, it’s up for the world to see and use as they see fit.

By: Fred Jones

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Fred Jones